Sunday, July 03, 2011

Anime review: Mahou Shojo Madoka Magika

I've never written anime reviews since there are plenty of sites out there for that but OMFG, I had just watched one of the most awesome anime ever. Yes, you are not reading the title wrong, it is a Mahou Shojo/Magical Girl anime. My exposure to the genre before this has pretty much been the Sailor Moon live action, Cardcaptor Sakura and of course all the parodies that you get in anime.

Mahou Shojo anime are pretty much the same. Girl gets magical powers, has a cute animal companion, everyone dresses in outrageous costumes and they fight a magical villain of the week. I got interested in Madoka when I read that it was an anime made for the male audience and had lots of violence. Let me tell you that Madoka is good primarily not because of the violence nor because its made for an older audience.

Madoka IMHO, is the Watchmen of mahou shoujo anime. Not so much in the sense that its a deconstruction of the genre but but more in that Madoka has taken a lot of the concepts of the genre and turned them on it head. The distinct lines between good and evil. The idea that there is no price to pay for magical powers and that their lives are happy and bright.

The first two episodes play like your usual mahou shojo anime and the end of the third episode just had me immediately reaching out to start the next one. Trust me when I saw Madoka is a mindfuck not just because its a grittier mahou shojo story. There is actually a pretty awesome and epic story in there that will make you go 'woah' like Keanu Reeves. No stupid fillers and every episode is tightly packed with stuff happening and of course a cliffhanger at the end.

Can't really talk much about cause I don't want to go into spoiler territory but I am impressed that someone actually had the balls to defy conventions and push the envelope. Madoka is a work of art, from the awesome witch fights to the tight pacing. Just give it a try for 3 episodes and if the ending of episode 3 doesn't grab you, nothing will. You'll be watching Madoka thinking how mindfucked a little girl would be if she started watching it thinking it was your typical bright and happy mahou shojo anime.


Anonymous said...

hell yeah. madoka is awesome

Jung said...

Haha oh boy... I think the trip to Japan changed Mike.

Anyway, to answer your earlier question, I didn't watch Konkatsu, so I can't make a comparison. Objectively speaking, Shiawase is a B- show at best. But there are many attributes that I like about it:
- It's shot well.
- People's interactions feel natural and real.
- Characters all likeable in their own ways
- Some subplots with supporting characters to mix things up, but they all tie into the main storyline well.
- Solid cast. I know the main girl isn't your cup of tea, and she ain't mind either, but I think you'll view her a bit differently after this show. (a bit)

I'd give first 2 episodes a go. And if you hate it, then it's probably not your cup of tea.

Jesus Christ Supercop said...

I've heard of Madoka and have thought about giving it a spin. I probably will, in the near future.

A current anime I would really recommend is Steins;Gate (it's still airing and is only half over at 14 episodes). It's a time travel story, though initially it only involves a device that can send text messages into the past. What could possibly go wrong?

The story is really gripping, but the characters and their interactions are also top-notch.

If you don't know anything about the show, you would really benefit from not reading about it at all and just watching it blind.

Alex Mitchell-Dawson said...

Now that you're branching out into anime reviews how about branching a little further with a Yakuza: of the end game review?. ^-^

Akiramike said...

Jung, trip didn't change me. Madoka is that awesome. Are you actually saying Kuroki Meisa actually showed she could act in Shiawase?

JC, there were a lot of ads for the Steins Gate game when I was in Japan but I had no idea what the show was about.

Alex, I thought you were borrowing my stick for 3 weeks? Of the end is crap, with a real lack of polish. Its more like a fanservice game for fans. I'm still going to finish it though.

Alex Mitchell-Dawson said...

yeah I got a TE stick at SS so I can return your stick whenever, will come Saturday?.

Aarrrr said...

/人◕ ‿‿◕人\

Hipployta said...

Super late comment but if you enjoyed Madoka you should read/watch the online story Sailor Nothing. Really...really...shows how messed up the magical girl thing can get.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen this anime but I really really wanted to recommend Welcome to the NHK! (an anime) because we have similar tastes in drama. I think you'll love, at least I loved it.